How to Write a Rengay

The following tutorial offers an invitation to write rengay, a short collaborative linked-verse form usually for two, three, or six writers. This tutorial was first published in my solo rengay book True Colour in 2014. See also my introduction to the book, “An Invitation to Rengay,” my Rengay Worksheets, and all the individual rengay in True Colour.

If you can write haiku, you can write rengay. Each rengay should focus on a central theme of your choosing. For example, you could tell the story of watching a baseball game, describe shelters or round objects, or write about books or board games or expressions of love. In addition, rengay consists of six haiku or haiku-like verses in a particular pattern, depending on how many poets participate, using both three-line and two-line poems. The patterns are as follows, with letters representing the poets, and the numbers representing the number of lines for each of the six verses.

Solo Rengay:

A3, A2, A3, A3, A2, A3    or    A3, A2, A3, A2, A3, A2

Two Poets:

A3, B2, A3, B3, A2, B3

Three Poets:

A3, B2, C3, A2, B3, C2

Six Poets:

A3, B2, C3, D3, E2, F3    or    A3, B2, C3 D2, E3, F2

For more information about rengay, with many examples to read, please explore the About Rengay page. Give it a try and taste all the colours of life.